Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Just About Over....



On this, the last day of the year, I want to take the opportunity to say thank you to all who visit here....whether it's your first time or you're a regular, your visit is important to me. I try to be a gracious hostess and make you feel comfortable and I can only hope I succeed.

Many times through the year I got discouraged and down about my art but somehow you always boosted me back up again and sent me right back to the studio to try again. I know that without all your support and encouragement I would not be creating as much as I have.

Some days I had absolutely NOTHING to write about (I live a very exciting life!!) and I just sort of rambled on about something silly....but you still visited me and you left me comments and showed me that you're there with me. I can't begin to tell you how much that means to me!

I don't want to get all gushy and gooey here but I do want to let you all know that never, not for one second, have I ever taken any of you for granted. I'm always surprised at the number of comments I receive and very thankful for each one. It's very exciting to open my email and find comments to read. I know that there were many times when I didn't respond back to you....mostly during the hot, icky months of summer and then after my son arrived....but I'm getting better at it. I'm not a very good time manager!!

So when all is said and done, I consider myself pretty darned lucky to have all of you in my life. I look forward to another year of making new friends, learning more about my old friends, and just generally enjoying each other's company. I hope you all have a safe and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! Thank you for being part of my life....

Monday, December 29, 2008

Joining In....

You may have noticed some new buttons on the sidebar. I've joined a couple of groups for this coming year. The first one is Creative Every Day 2009....this will be my third year of doing this and I'm hoping that this will be the year when I actually accomplish doing something creative every single day. But if I don't I still won't give up.

The other thing I joined is a book club where we will be reading "12 Secrets of Highly Creative People"....HB gave me the book for Christmas so I think that's a good sign that I should join this group. I've already started reading it and I'm sure I'll enjoy it. If you'd like to have more information about this group you can find it here.

I also have been doing some thinking about what I want to do in this coming year. I visited Serena's blog and she inspired me to choose a word that will exemplify my goals for the year. I went to the list and one word just jumped out at me....that word was "growth"....so I'm going to concentrate on growing this year. Growing in my art as well as growing in my thinking.



So I've got some plans for 2009 and I'm looking forward to discovering lots of new things....I never want to stop learning and doing.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Whewww!!

The big day has come and gone and it was wonderful....we missed Molly and we were sad that she couldn't be here with us but we called her several times and talked to her. We plan to have a mini-Christmas when she's able to get down here.

Santa must not have been paying close attention to me last year because he missed all those naughty things I did....he spoiled me rotten with gifts and I truly don't think I was that good!

I have so many new "toys" that I'm not sure which one to play with first! Besides my new laptop HB also gave me a new camera. He talked with a couple of our "techie" relatives and they gave him some suggestions. I love the one they recommended. It's a Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ5....it looks like this....



So far I've only taken a few photos but it's very easy to use and I love the fact that it's got auto settings or I can manually set them. I doubt I'll ever use the manual ones! I don't have the software installed on the computer yet but as soon as I do you can expect photos again!

I won't bore you with all my gifts. Just assume that I got way more than I deserved and I'm happy, happy, happy!!

HB also always buys us something as a gift we can both enjoy. This year it's a new Sony Blu-ray DVD player. And this, after I bought him some new movies on regular DVD! Oh, well, they will still play on it, they just won't be in blu-ray.

So we're all set now. I hope everyone else had a great Christmas too. HB left Friday morning for Michigan to visit his son and his family....three granddaughters ages 10, 13, and 16! He's going to have a blast!! HB needs some time off after all those long hours and more to come in the new year.

I hope you didn't eat too many cookies and other goodies over the holidays. I somehow managed to actually lose some weight! Now it's on to the New Year and more fun and art. Let's make 2009 a great year!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve Morning....

Here it is the morning of Christmas Eve and I'm doing good. My wrist is ok and I'm able to use it a bit so I'm coming here to thank all of you for your well wishes. And I'd also like to take a moment to thank you for continuing to visit my blog, to brighten my day with your comments, and for all the beautiful Christmas cards I've received. I know I haven't thanked you individually but I hope you'll forgive me. I have all my cards sitting out where I can see them....first on the mantle but that was soon too small so now they are on a table and that's almost too small for all of them!

This past year has not been one of my best as far as accomplishing things and I plan to do much better in 2009. I want to branch out and do more art using new techniques....to challenge myself more this year. I tend to stay in my "safe" zone when it comes to art....I do what's familiar and sometimes that gets boring!

Now back to Christmas!! This one isn't turning out as I planned. My son made it here from Alaska but my daughter who lives right here in California isn't going to make it! She lives in the mountains and they've had snow recently....enough that her truck is buried in a snow drift! Plus the roads are snowy and slick and I don't like her to drive those twisty, winding roads when it's snowy. We are expecting more snow in those mountains today so she will be spending Christmas alone! The best laid plans.....

I haven't had many pictures to show you lately since my son doesn't want his picture on the blog but I can show you our trees....



This is the big tree in the living room. I always do it in red and gold. In person it looks very elegant, and the tree itself almost has a frosted look so I think it looks magical. I love this tree!



This smaller tree is in our family room. This tree has ornaments going all the way back to my first Christmas when I was just 3 months old! This is where I hang all the ornaments that have special meaning to me. I wish my camera took better close-up pictures so I could show you some of them....maybe next year!

Ok, that's about all for now. I'm going to be baking cookies this morning and wrapping a couple of last minute gifts. I hope each one of you has the most wonderful holiday, however you celebrate it. You have all made a huge impact on my life and I'll always be thankful for that. If I could I'd reach through the monitor and give you all a big hug!

Merry Christmas....Happy Holidays....and I hope Santa is good to you!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Being Graceful is an Art....

Being graceful has never been one of my strong suits. Many times I think something got left out when I was "made" because I have no physical co-ordination and usually think I've really accomplished something when I can walk and chew gum at the same time!!

Yesterday I was looking through the cabinets to see what ingredients I had on hand to make cookies and what I needed to add to the grocery list. Most of the cabinets in our kitchen are too high for me to use without some help.

I pulled a chair over to stand on and that's when the fun began! My son was sitting at the table using his laptop and I was happily going through the cabinets....until I decided to get down.

Like a dummy I had placed the chair with the back behind me so when I went to step down I got caught in the back of the chair. My son said it was terrible watching me because he couldn't get to me in time....it all happened so fast....although it seemed to be in slow motion.

He said my head just missed the granite countertop by a hair! At first I thought everything was ok. I could move every part of my body and nothing hurt but as the day went on my wrist became very sore and I had very little strength in it. So here's the result of all that....



It seems to be a bad strain so mostly I need to not use it too much. No problem!! I just have cookies to bake and lots of crochet to finish before Christmas!! Wonder how fast I can teach my son to crochet????

PS - this post took forever because I'm typing with one hand!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Would You Believe: Part Two....

What a snow storm we had! Maybe not to someone who lives in Canada or in some of the northern states but for us living in Southern California it was something very unusual!

I think by the time it finally quit snowing we had about 10 - 12" on the ground! When we woke up this morning the sun came out full blast and it all began melting. Tonight it's getting down to 25ยบ so I'm sure it will be a mess on the roads tomorrow with all that melted snow frozen on the road.

HB stayed home today because the roads were pretty bad this morning and the battery was dead in the big diesel truck! We got up early and I took some more photos....



This is the same scene that I showed yesterday....out our front door but now you can't even see the truck parked out there! That one tree on the left is probably going to have to come down because so much of it is broken. Branches are touching the gound with the weight of the snow.



This picture shows a table that is in the back yard....HB parked an old lawn mower under it until he can take it to the dump. You can see the amount of snow piled up on the table.

Yesterday the tv wouldn't work because the dish had too much snow on it. Today I wasn't able to get online most of the day because our ISP had problems related to the storm. Ahh....technology! I didn't mind not having tv....I baked cookies and made soup! I got a molasses cookie recipe from The Pioneer Woman Cooks and my son and HB both declared them delicious. The soup was a recipe that I got from one of the blogs I read but I don't remember which one....it was called cheeseburger soup and again they both loved it. It must have been good because I made a big pot of it and there was maybe enough for one bowl left over! So whoever posted that recipe....Thank You!!!

Today I've been playing with an early Christmas present. HB gave me a laptop! Now all three of us can sit in the family room and click away on our laptops. Once in awhile someone says "check this out" and we all type in the same web address. So even though we had some crazy weather for one day, it wasn't so bad.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Would You Believe....

As you know we live in Southern California in the high desert. This is what I woke up to this morning....this is looking out my front door.



And this is what it looks like at 11 AM....



My son went next door to take a photo of this....



It isn't often you see a palm tree standing in the snow!!!!

What kind of weather are you having? It's still snowing here! It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

In My Mailbox....

Lately my mailbox has been loaded with cards from everywhere....



so to all my blogger friends I say Thank You! I love getting cards at Christmastime and most especially I love getting cards from all of you.

I also had a little surprise in my mail from Vallen. She always sends the cutest gifts plus she had it packaged in such a beautiful way that I didn't want to open it....but I did!! Here's what she sent me....



I just love the sheet music as wrapper (I put it back like it was before I opened it so you could see) and inside was the fuzzy crocheted wreath pin. It's so cute and I LOVE it!! Thank you, Vallen.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

It's a Banner Day!!

Here it is almost a week since I've posted again. Time really is flying by right now. My son has now been here for one month and it seems like about a week! We're still yakking hours at a time.

On another subject, I recently particpated in a Christmas banner swap with some of the GPS (Glitter Power Sisters.) I received my banner last week but didn't get it posted until now. I know....I'm bad! Here are a couple of photos of the banner I received from Ninnie....



I hung it over the fireplace but I'll move it when we build a fire....just in case!



I scanned the banner so you could get a closer look. Isn't it so Christmas-y looking? I just love it. Thanks, Ninnie. This will be part of my Christmas traditions from now on.

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I also finished another 9" x 12" zentangle-ish drawing....



I haven't named this one yet but I like it. It's a bit different from some of my others since it's mostly straight lines.

Monday, December 08, 2008

The Christmas Rush....

Can it possibly be December 8th already? I'm scurrying around trying to finish my Christmas cards and get them mailed but I do have most of my shopping done. I shopped online this year. I think I've only bought one item in the store. It's so easy to just let my fingers do the clicking!!

My son is enjoying the nice weather we've had recently. He still can't get over the fact that there's almost always sunshine when he wakes up. I put him to work yesterday! I told him he was on a busman's holiday because I needed him to help me go pick up our load of firewood for the season. He loved it! He said he misses messing around with wood....and he and the guy who sold it to me hit it off right away. They were talking wood and chain saws and Alaska. The guy had actually been to the little town where my son lives!

So now if the weather gets chilly enough we have a nice supply of firewood for the fireplace. I love a fire. If I could afford the wood I'd have a fire going all day long in the winter. There's something so comforting about a roaring fire in the fireplace or even in a wood stove.

I did another larger (9" x 12") zentangle-ish drawing a couple of days ago. This one doesn't do much for me but I was trying a style that I saw on flickr so it was mostly an experiment. Here is my "Urban Angel"....



I hope you all aren't giving up on me ever visiting your blogs! I can't seem to find any free time lately. I get out of bed in the morning and before I know it it's time for bed again and I've been on the go all day! Hopefully when I get my cards finished I'll have some time then. HB is working seven days a week for a little while so I'm trying to do as much as possible so he doesn't have too many things to worry about. The project he's on is a solar installation....a new experimental process....and it's partly backed by Google. They're on a big push to get it to the point of seeing if it will actually do what they think it will so they're working looooong hours. I barely get to see him!

Enjoy your day....I'll get by to visit soon!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

I've Been Drawing Again....

I thought I was going to have some free time this week. My son went home with his sister for a few days and I should be spending time online visiting all my blogger friends. But I've been putting up Christmas trees instead!

Today I finished the one in the family room but I still have more to do to the one in the living room. It's very tall and I need HB to help me with decorations near the top. That might have to wait until the weekend when he will have some time off. Meanwhile my living room is full of big tubs of decorations and the kitties are loving it!

I also finally got back into the drawing mood. So the past couple of nights I've been working on a big zentangle-type drawing. It's about 9" x 12"....



I think I'll call it "A Garden of Dreams"